November 29th, 2007

The gentleman is always properly dressed


All the Things He Said
S: "I refuse to fly. I will not fly. Planes are unnatural. A human being should not be able to board a vehicle in one city and a few hours later be in an entirely different one."
Me: "What about cars?"
S: "At least cars have their humors in balance."
Sc: "So planes have an excess of bile or something?"
S: "There is no reasonable explanation for how planes are able to leave the ground. They are heavier than air."
Sc: "Well, there's physics..."
S: "You cannot prove to me that physics exists."
[At this point, I extend my arm and drop the balled up napkin I've been holding onto the bar.]
Me: "Ok, just checking..."

All the Things (S)he Said
The Epicure

Mostly included to have for later.

"The vegan utopia would also condemn people in many parts of the country to importing all their food from distant places. In New England, for example, the hilliness of the land and the rockiness of the soil has dictated an agriculture based on grass and animals since the time of the Puritans. Indeed, the New England landscape, with its rolling patchwork of forest and fields outlined by fieldstone walls, is in some sense a creation of the domestic animals that have lived there (and so in turn of their eaters). The world is filled with places where the best, if not the only, way to obtain food from the land is by grazing (and hunting) animals on it - especially ruminants, which alone can turn grass into protein.

To give up eating animals is to give up on these places as human habitat, unless of course we are willing to make complete our dependence on a highly industrialized national food chain. That food chain would in turn be even more dependent than it already is on fossil fuels and chemical fertilizer, since food would need to travel even further and fertility - in the form of manures - would be in short supply. Indeed, it is doubtful you can build a genuinely sustainable agriculture without animals to cycle nutrients and support local food production. If our concern is for the health of nature - rather than, say, the internal consistency of our moral code or the condition of our souls - then eating animals may sometimes be the most ethical thing to do."

-Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma